There was a time when being so sensitive was nothing but a curse. It meant feeling all over the place as I struggled to know where my energy ended and others’ began. It meant escaping in any and every way possible to avoid the confusion I felt inside. It meant feeling different from everyone else who didn’t appear to go through the physical ups and downs I did. It meant constantly wishing I had thicker skin. It meant feeling that perhaps I wasn’t cut out to make it in this world. It meant berating my body as it wouldn’t do all the things I wanted it to, or that were expected of me.
The working world that I was initiated into was all ‘go-go-go’. It was all about getting results, doing what the client wanted, and providing an exceptional service to others during the day. Coupled with partying hard at night, proving that you really could ‘have it all’. But at what cost.
I quickly learned to shut down what my body was feeling, to try and get it to do more, to go faster and push on. I would carb- and caffeine-load for the quick-fix energy and high, leading to an inevitable crash, so I sought out more and continued the cycle. I would pop pain killers to ignore my monthly cycle screaming at me when it arrived, and to get through the head aches that came from too much extended screen time.
I would gravitate towards the wine at all networking events to push through the forced small talk and not have to feel what my body actually felt, doing something that I found excruciatingly mis-aligned with my introverted nature. I would wake up the next morning feeling fuzzy and light-headed, taking stomach pills to settle the churning in my belly and more pain killers so I could push on and ‘get the job done’.
I ignored my body at every turn, seeing it at this burden I had to ‘put up with’, self-medicating in a myriad of ways, so that I could make it do what it had to, to succeed in business in what I thought was the only way, to carry on in the way that I was taught.
It got to a breaking point where my body no longer allowed me to bandage its messages, and I had to start listening. I had to change my life and accept my sensitivities, accept that I felt more than others, accept that I needed to slow waaaaay down, rest more, and honour its unique needs.
So this is what I began to do, and over the next few years I got to really know my body. I got to know ‘her’ – all of her signs, whispers, tingles, and messages. It’s an evolving and constantly changing journey, but as I dove into this new relationship and committed to listening to, and respecting, her as I would a new partner, I began to learn that my body’s sensitivity is actually my greatest asset in my business today. I began to see her as a unique part of my being that is here for me.
She tells me when something is off.
She pulls at me when I need to pay attention to an idea.
She lets me know when I am overdoing it and when I need to rest, as nothing I do from this place will be aligned for me.
She tingles when I am on the right path.
She holds space for me when I need to feel into whether or not something is for me.
She alerts me when I say yes to too many things.
She feels so much so I can empathise and provide compassion.
She lets me know when something new needs to be created to meet the evolving needs in these tumultuous times.
She reminds me that I am not a machine.
She guides me if I stop and pay attention.
She knows that I have all I need inside.
By honouring my body and putting her first I create the space for myself to work in business in a way that is expansive, grounded, nourishing and aligned. I can live in heaven on earth if I am present and honour her needs. My purpose is to be here in the moment, experiencing life to the fullest in the physical.
My body has always been on my side.
She has been trying to tell me all along that there is another way of showing up, creating, and doing business. A way that is in synch with the cyclical, intelligent flow of life.
How can you begin to honour the needs of your body more?
This piece is part of a community project, bringing together a number of sensitive entrepreneurs each sharing how they have used the strength of sensitivity in business, especially during these times.
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